For many years, I’ve been frustrated. If I see someone in the office for chronic, complex health problems, my goal is to sort out their issues as efficiently as possible. Instead, the process often takes more time, more effort and incurs more expense for the patient than I would want. Some of the legitimate complaints about functional medicine are that the discipline can be too complicated and too expensive.
My first visit with a new patient is typically a robust experience all around. During the initial 60-minute intake, I generally let the person give their history going back as far as they think is relevant and I try to avoid any interruptions to the narrative. I want to understand how they put things together through their rational thinking mind and also their intuitive self. As they’re talking, I take notes trying to put things together in an integrative way coming up with my own hypotheses, predictions and priorities.
More often than not, I consider root causes that haven’t been explored and there is a sense of optimism on both sides. After that initial consultation though, reality sets in. We usually do some initial testing that is covered by insurance. Sometimes, my initial impression is right on and confirmed by objective testing which leads to a solid plan and the person steadily improves as we sort out the variety of potential contributors to their ill health.
Many times, however, the initial labs are normal or inconclusive and we need to do other testing that can be expensive. We zig and zag for many months delving into many different subjects trying to piece the puzzle together and the person’s status remains the same. They try to hold on to that initial burst of cautious optimism and I do my best to find the right path. People report that some symptoms are better, others might be worse and some are about the same as far as they can determine.
Many people come in with non-specific symptoms like fatigue that have a long list of potential causes. Others present with issues that focus our efforts because they have a specific correlation like a bull’s eye rash with Lyme disease or tendency to static shocks for those with Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome.
Over a number of years, I’ve wondered about a smart system that could sort out these issues more efficiently than I or any other human being no matter our level of interest or experience. Part of my dogged research has been dedicated to this project. Ultimately, I pooled together the information, questionnaires and other data from a long list of sources to write up a prototype.
The areas evaluated by the system include:
- Lyme disease and tick-borne infections
- Chronic Parasites
- Mineral Deficiencies and Imbalances
- Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome from mold/biotoxins
- Copper Overload
- Chronic EBV/virus infections
- Pyrrole Disorder
- Heavy Metal Toxicity
- Mast Cell Disorders
- Systemic Candida Overgrowth
- Limbic System Dysfunction
- Th1 dominant immune imbalance
- Th2 dominant immune imbalance
- Folate Deficiency
- Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
- Hormone Imbalances that include low estrogen, high estrogen, low progesterone, high progesterone, low testosterone, high testosterone, low DHEA, high DHEA, low cortisol, high cortisol, low thyroid and insulin resistance.
In the middle of this process, through the principle of synchronicity, I met Sandra Hendren. She is a gifted data scientist with a unique perspective on the world and just enough of a badass quality to be a perfect partner. I described my concept to her and it’s been off to the races ever since then.
Sandra wrote an initial algorithm-based program with elements of deep machine learning to identify associations, correlations and connections beyond what any other system even seeks to accomplish. We have gone through five generations of the system with refinements along the way until we have come up with a system that is ready to go live.
The goal of the Complex Health Solutions (CHS) system is to predict the most likely root causes for each person’s symptoms. Each potential root cause is assigned a number from 0 to 100. The higher the number, the more likely it is an issue that has to be managed. The system helps each person find a better starting place for their path to wellness.
CHS also generates an “Illness Score” to serve as a baseline value. It is important to work a qualified practitioner and pursue objective testing whenever possible to pull it all together and come up with a plan.
After some period of time, maybe 3-4 months, repeating the CHS analysis will be valuable for comparison. This helps determine if progress is being made for each specific underlying issue under management. The repeated Illness Score also assesses the overall situation to make sure the plan is working.
As far as we can tell, this system is unique and will be a powerful tool in helping those with chronic, complex issues get better faster, saving significant amounts of time, money and frustration. It is a more advanced way to do things.
Bill and Melinda Gates where are you? Nevermind, I guess we will have to figure it out on our own. Visit Complex Health Solutions to complete the questionnaire and get your individualized analysis.
Andrew Lenhardt, MD